SMEs reveal digital security concerns
More than a third of UK small businesses believe they are operating at or below the ‘security poverty line’, according to new research.
The study from Duo Security, in partnership with YouGov, also found that 38% of small business decision makers do not plan to spend any money on cyber security this financial year.
A further 30% of the 1,009 people questioned said that 3% or less of their total budget is set aside for various forms of cyber protection.
The firm deems the ‘security poverty line’ to be the point at which a firm is unable to protect itself from cyber threats in an effective manner.
With 5.5 million small businesses now operating in the UK, the study has also highlighted the need for government awareness initiatives to be expanded.
Just over a quarter of small businesses said they believe initiatives such as Cyber Risk Aware and Cyber Essentials have helped them to become more resilient to cyber-attack.
Perhaps of most concern is that 45% of those surveyed did not believe themselves to be a target for cyber-attackers while 47% see measures as too expensive.
Despite these views, the majority view a lack of knowledge regarding cyber-security as the biggest threat to their business, ahead of either finances or employee awareness.
The government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 reports that 46% of UK firms experienced a data breach in 2016, although YouGov survey suggests only 5% of small firms have been affected.
While this suggests that small businesses are not threatened, those with poor IT systems and a lack of knowledge could be easily targeted.
They may also not be able to tell when they are targeted if they are unable to adequately monitor their systems, meaning they could lose data and suffer reputational damage.
Planning for the unexpected is essential, which is why firms can turn to contingency planning to ensure they have a strategy for any eventuality.
Others may just want to reorganise their business or change structure, which is where solvent restructuring methods can come into play.
This can help to streamline business operations and potentially free up finance to focus on boosting sales, security and product development.
By Phil Smith